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The sets and the water effects are still absolutely astonishing

It’s difficult to review a film that’s had so much written about it already and almost everyone will have already seen it anyway! It’s still a technical marvel and the love story is expertly done. A triumph in cinema.

The Premise

Star (and class) crossed lovers board the Titanic and find love before it all goes pear-shaped.

The Disasters Faced

The Titanic itself, being spat on, choosing the wrong fork and for the audience – having an epileptic fit!

The Execution

From the deep-sea dive which uses some real footage of James Cameron’s own dives to the wreck to the sets and costumes themselves, they’ll be no other exacting recreation of the ship itself than this film probably ever again. Part of the magic is that it actually feels like the real thing anyway, rivalled only by A Night to Remember. The cast themselves are perfectly cast. Kate and Leo are perfect in their roles despite doing some questionable things (Kate you took someone else’s place on that lifeboat!!!) and the supporting cast are excellent too. Particular shout-outs to Kathy Bates for just being her and Francis Fisher for managing the most vicious facial stares committed to film. The effects still hold up for its time because a lot of it was done with real sets and not digital effects. The pacing is also great too because despite spending the first 100 minutes on a love story, it really doesn’t feel like it’s been 100 minutes! The final hour is spent lavishly showing the tragedy unfold. It’s an ode to cinema, the ship itself and many of the people onboard.

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With so much done with practical, real effects, Titanic feels shockingly realistic

The Effects

As mentioned above, much of the flooding was done by set designs. The deluxe collector’s edition has some great footage of the crew building sets on hydraulics that they then slide into the water and submerge it. It’s fantastic that they did it this way as suddenly it’s no longer acting, it’s reacting. Most of the digital stuff still holds up well today too. On top of that, the costumes and sets are exacting. You could spend so much time looking at the details and the extras on the home release give you plenty to enjoy and look at.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Above all, it’s a great movie. You get into the characters plights, touch base with so many different walks of life and although you don’t spend lots of time with them all, you see most of them through to the end of their story. You can also catch homages to previous Titanic films too if you know them. Aside from the film itself I have the deluxe collectors edition which has 40 minutes of deleted scenes which sadly aren’t interjected into the film itself but flesh out a few other characters and add some more historical points in. I’d have preferred it as an extended edition though. There’s also a disc of behind the scenes footage and footage of the dive down to Titanic’s wreck too which is interesting and informative. One of the things I really love about the film is that story unfolds all around the ship and you see so much of it. I felt like I learnt as I watched and so found the film subtly informational as well as riveting.

Favourite Character

Victor Garber plays Thomas Andrews beautifully, although there are so many great roles. Kathy Bates, Jason Barry, Francis Fischer, David Warner (on the tub yet again) and Billy Zane play the best of the best and worst.

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Kathy Bates’ Molly Brown is the kinda lady I’d love to have a few drinks with

Best Death

A nameless person smacks a propeller on the way off the edge of the boat. Major ouch material! As a set, however, the grand staircase going under is always dramatic.

Weirdest Moment

Love spitting?! Not sure my second date would have included that!!!

Drinking Game

Each time someone from 1st Class reminds everyone else they are not first class.

Random Trivia

All the scenes set in 1912 plus the opening/end credits take 2hrs 40 minutes – which is the exact time it took for the Titanic to sink.

Conclusion

The greatest Titanic film of them all arguably, it’s a triumph and grande display of cinema excellence. If you haven’t already seen it, you really should – 3D version or otherwise.

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